Tips for taking stock of your parents’ health

A recent report in the Wall
Street Journal
suggests the following tips for taking stock of your
parents’ health – and recommends that, if faced with dementia or Alzheimer’s
symptoms or signs of waning physical health, family members contact a
professional geriatric care manager to get help creating a customized care
plan.

1. Medical needs

Get a sense of your aging parents’ physical and mental
health, either by accompanying them to doctor’s appointments or requesting
their permission to review medical records. Consider a consultation or full
assessment with a geriatric care manager to go over possible health risks and
lifestyle adjustments.

2. Financial benefits

Do some research to find out whether or not your parents are
eligible for any benefits or discount programs to help offset medical care and
prescription drug costs. Also, look in to programs for veterans and their
families, and find out if any of your own employee benefits cover senior care
costs for aging family members.

3. Medicare and Medicaid

Make sure you know what is and isn’t covered by Medicare and
Medicaid, and determine whether or not your parents possess any assets that may
impact their eligibility. Medicare does not cover long-term healthcare costs
like assisted living, but experienced geriatric care managers can help you
figure out affordable alternatives.

4. Hospice care

Remember
to find out whether or not local assisted living facilities offer hospice care,
or if such care is available on an in-home basis in your parents’ area.

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